Couples forgo Kiwi Christmas to race tuk-tuks
Two Arrowtown couples will spend their Christmas New Year holidays battling it out in the Indian heat on tuk-tuks, as part of a Third-World style 3500km fundraising drive across india.
Lisa and Edward Guy in their "Goodbye Curry Pie" gear and Heather and Warwick Weber, decked out as the "World's Fastest Kiwis", will crawl along at 45km per hour from the Thar Desert in Jaisalmer, south to the Kochi finish line.
Rickshaw Run is a global fundraising event for Cool Earth, which targets threatened rainforests and attracts about 200 participants from around the world.
The Kiwis, who leave on Boxing Day, are also fundraising for Live More Awesome, a New Zealand charity tackling depression, and FRANK Water, which funds sustainable clean water projects in developing countries.
Both couples are leaving their children with grandparents - the Webers have three under five - so Mrs Guy said they hadn't left themselves much room for error in the 14-day event with flights booked to get home.
"We could be staying at home and doing something with our kids for Christmas, but we want them to see us off on an adventure that's helping someone," Mrs Guy said.
Instead of lying on a beach they will be rising at 5am daily for 10-hour days or 200km to 300km.
Local businesses, particularly Aotea Souvenirs, have been generous with donated Kiwi gifts for the couples to distribute to the Indian children as they pass through villages.
The tuk-tuks are not known for their reliability, but the women are hoping their DIY-engineer husbands will be useful should the 7-horsepower engines need attention.
"There are no maps. You're just given a rickshaw at the beginning and sent off to find your way. For every day you're late you pay a penalty." Mrs Guy said.
So far they've raised about £1000 for Cool Earth and $800 for Live More Awesome.
■ To support their ride visit theadventurists.com.